Seasonal Features

14 Uses for Your Used Tea Bags

14 Creative Uses for Used Tea Bags

If you’re anything like us, you find yourself going through many a tea bag. What do you do with them once you’re done steeping? Many teas can be re-steeped several times to make several cups of tea, but every tea has a limit. However, your tea bag’s life doesn’t have to be over once you’ve steeped your tea. Tea bags can be used for compost and gardening, cooking and cleaning, and beauty and skincare hacks. You’ll never have to use a tea bag just once again.

Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more about our personalized tea discovery service here.

Did you know? Each Sips by Box comes with disposable tea bags for any loose leaf teas in your box. You can buy our disposable tea bags here.



  • Recover quickly from a sunburn by steeping your black tea bags for an hour, then applying the resulting brew to your skin (after it’s cooled down!) See our instructions here.
  • Add your tea bags to your bath for a soothing soak. Learn about the properties of different tea types in bathwater.
  • Place cooled tea bags under your eyes for a few minutes to reduce puffiness and dark circles.
  • Give yourself a lovely and aromatic facial steam with hot water, an old tea bag, and a towel. The steam will open your pores and hydrate your skin.
  • DIY an antioxidant-rich black tea or green tea face toner.


Seedlings in pots  
  • If you know that your tea bag is biodegradable, you can toss it right into your compost bin or bury it directly in your garden. If you don’t know the material of the tea bag, you can always cut it open, put the leaves in your compost, and toss the bag itself.
  • Place your tea bag – no matter the material – in the bottom of a planter, where it can fertilize your plant and help it retain water.
  • Rose bushes love tea leaves. Sprinkle tea leaves around your rose bush and cover lightly with mulch to give your roses a boost.


  • Place dried tea bags anywhere in your home to absorb unwanted odors – your fridge, a closet, even inside your shoes.
  • Remove hard water stains from your bathtub and toilet by rubbing them with a damp tea bag. Wipe afterwards with a damp cloth to avoid tea stains.
  • Attack grease and grime with a damp tea bag. It works on just about every surface, from glass and floors to pots and pans.
  • Give your wood surfaces a polish. Brew weak tea and rub it into your old furniture to give it a new shine.


  • Got garlic or onion hands? Tea bags can take care of that. Rub used tea bags over your hands and then wash with soap and water.
  • Add depth of flavor to your rice. Toss a tea bag in with your rice while it’s cooking and allow it to steep in the water. Rice pairs especially well with jasmine tea.
  • Try experimenting with teas in various dishes. Maybe a weak green tea blends great with your favorite homemade salad dressing, or a breakfast tea tastes great mixed with the syrup for your Sunday morning pancakes.


Looking for tea bags to help you steep all of your loose leaf tea? Spend more time enjoying your tea and less time cleaning it up with Sips by's biodegradable tea filters. 

About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.